Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Growing up it was always tradition to keep the Christmas tree and decorations up until 'Little Christmas' also know as the Epiphany. The Epiphany is the celebration of the three Kings coming from afar to bestow gifts upon baby Jesus. I continue the tradition with my family. Our decorations and tree will be up until we celebrate the coming of the Magi on January 6th. So over the coming days I will continue to post about our holiday experiences, present and past.

I'd like to share with you some photos of my favorite old ornaments that hung on my tree when I was a child. They belonged to my Mum and now the belong to me. Some day I will pass them on to 'n'.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hello! It's Movie Time.

 Well I have many great holiday pictures to post, but I'm the official 'piece finder' for 'N's lego building spree(we're talking 1,000 piece sets- 3 in total) so I'm going to save the pics and a lengthier post for later. 

I'd like to share this movie with you instead.  When I came home from dropping off my godmother on Friday 'n' and 'R' had been busy making a movie.  I have to say I think it is quite something.  We may have a budding actress on our hands.  What do you all think?



Good Bye Daddy



Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Peace, Love and Joy!



So on Christmas eve it has been tradition for as long as I can remember for family and friends to gather together and enjoy good food and company. Since my Mum passed away 8 years ago I have taken on the tradition and we now gather at my home on Christmas Eve. This year was no exception. Our gathering is smaller than it used to be but just as merry. Here are some photos from our evening.

Say Cheese! or chips :)

Sisterly Love!

Brother 'B' playing peek-a-boo with the amaryllis!

Our lovely little Christmas tree.

The gang is all here! N,n & the cousins!

Quick look away, she has the camera again! Auntie 'A' was the only one who escaped the camera on Christmas Eve. No worries, we captured her image on Christmas morn. More on that later.

We had a great evening. Company was lovely, food was delicious and we were able to tucker out all the children so Santa could come earlier than later.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Odds and Ends

Today was our first day of vacation! It was so nice to not get up with an alarm clock. When I go to bed at a decent time I usually wake up on my own around 8am. So it was this morning. I came downstairs to my cherubs already awake, bright eyed and bushy tailed. 'N' got up so early, 5am, 'n' didn't get up until about 7:45 or so. Poor R-he was up at 6am and out the door by 6:30. No vacation for him until Wednesday, then he will be off for five days in a row. We'll all get to bed earlier tonight to prepare for late nights in the week ahead.

After coffee and breakfast I called Dad to remind him of his doctors appointment this afternoon and found out he ran out of oil! Yikes. Not a good day for that as the temperatures have dipped far below freezing. I ordered oil and my brother made sure that the electric heater and fireplace were both going to stave off the bitter cold. I invited Dad to come to my house until his home warmed up but he wasn't interested. We did some work around the house. Wrapped gifts, played on the computer, picked up and put away various items from around the house all before going to take Dad to his appt.

Dad is now on a regular schedule of having blood drawn to monitor his white count due to the immune suppressing drug he is on to treat his Chrohns disease. The good news is that the meds are working! His fistulas have almost completely closed and he has no more drainage. The doctor believes that this is due to his mp-6 meds not the most recent round of antibiotics. This was good news in my opinion. The Dr. had to burst the happiness bubble by commenting on Dad's hygiene and then open up the discussion about Dad's memory. He also wanted to know how much support Dad is receiving from both my brother and his family and me. I think that this doctor would put Dad in a nursing home if he could. It worries me. On the bright side at least the physical piece seems to be sorting itself out to some degree.

Tomorrow will prove to be a busy day. I plan on doing a lot of baking: banana bread, cranberry bread, sour cream coffee cake, black and white cookies, and anise tea cakes. I am also going to make my list for the grocery store. We'll be having a small open house on Christmas Eve so I'll be serving appetisers and goodies. I am debating on fondue as well. I have a fondue set that I received last Christmas that I have yet to use so I'd like to try it out. I would love to try Giada's recipe for cheese fondue, but I think a chocolate fondue might better suited for our guests. I'm planning on having stuffed mushrooms, scallops wrapped in bacon, homemade hummus with veggies to dip, hot artichoke dip, chicken fingers for the younger crowd, bruschetta {thanks to my dear friend Judy :) } In addition to this food I'll have lots of goodies. I've already baked and frozen chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies and nut crescents. By tomorrows end I'll have a variety of breads and two more cookies to offer. Maybe I don't need to do fondue and should save it for New Years??

Well this has turned into a rambling all over the place post! Hope you are all staying warm. I'm sitting under a blanked with my warm laptop on my lap! Ahhhhhhh!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Fill Ins

This weeks fill ins is the equivalent to name that tune or something similar. I love to sing however R will attest that usually I sing the wrong words. And most often even when he corrects me I prefer my own lyrics so please bear with me as I try this challenge!

Here we go!

1. Said the night wind to the little lamb, _do you know what I know?
2. The first Noel, the angel did say, _was to certain poor shepherds in fields where they lay.
3. Go tell it on the mountain, Over the hills and everywhere.
4. It came upon the midnight clear, that glorious song of old.
5. Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Let your heart be light.
6. And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing right within your heart.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing and watching White Christmas(my favorite holiday movie), tomorrow my plans include sleeping late, shoveling snow and wrapping gifts and Sunday, I want to bake cookies and watch football...go Pats!

ps. I used google for help! thank goodness for google!

pps. It is snowing like crazy here, should be lots of snow to shovel, will post pics tomorrow!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Some more detailed info regarding the upcoming summit.  What do you think?

A fair chance for every child, through good economic times and bad - that’s our commitment to Massachusetts’ kids. The current economic news is bleak - but our kids only grow up once. Featuring hands-on workshops, information sessions, and a chance to meet education leaders, Stand for Children’s 5th Annual Statewide Education will give you the knowledge and skills you need to become an effective advocate for your child and for kids across Massachusetts.

Conference Schedule
8:30 - 9:30 Registration & Breakfast
9:00 - 10:40 Our Shared Commitment: Partnering to Help Kids in a Tough Economy
10:50 - 12:05 Workshop Session I: Increasing Your Knowledge Base
12:05 - 1:05 Lunch & Building Relationships
1:15 - 2:30 Workshop Session II: Building Your Skills
2:45 - 3:30 Closing session: 2009 Policy Platform presentation

Attend to:
Connect with other grassroots leaders from around the state
Learn how you can improve education in your district and across the state
Hear from the state’s leading policy makers about changes that could affect every child in Massachusetts
Share strategies for winning funding and policy changes that improve schools
Launch our 2009 Legislative Agenda

"I learned great techniques to motivate others in my town to be part of the solution."
- 2008 Summit Attendee

The Buzz of Christmas

I am so excited for a short week.  My classes are only in session for two days this week; today and tomorrow.  It is so nice to be able to have a couple of extra day before my own children are out for Christmas break on Friday.  The children were excited today.  The morning group managed the day quite well.  I had expected much more of an unsettled day for those children as they are so aware of the season.  Children are always full of surprises.  The afternoon children who are usually quite calm and settled were not either of these things today!  By the end of the afternoon my head was spinning.  We made it through the day so that is good!

Last night I had a great meeting with my fellow Stand for Children strategy team members.  We are preparing for our 5th Annual Statewide Education Summit.  We have some great speakers and many workshop offerings.  The morning workshops are focused on learning more about education  reform and what is relevant in education today.  Our afternoon workshops are skill building classes.  I attended this summit last year and it was fabulous.  I am looking forward to attending this year on January 24th.  They even provide childcare.  If anyone is local and interested in attending check it out : www.stand.org/ma/summit.

That's all for now!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

What Kind of Blog Are You?

I thought this was an interesting site. I found it in one of Suzann's recent posts over at journey to a new life: What is Your Blog's Myers-Briggs Type#links. This web site analyzes all the posts you have written and tells you about your blog. The following is what it came up with for my blog.

ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves. The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

This show what parts of the brain that were dominant during writing.

According to this part of the analysis I am primarily using the parts of my brain that are used for sensing and feeling with an emphasis on order, habit and details as well as spirituality, rhythm and harmony.

Very interesting. I'm going to post this and then explore the site a bit more.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Fill Ins

1. Friends feed my soul.

2. Good health; it's a blessing.

3. I'm ready for vacation!

4. Philosophy Pure Grace is one of my favorite perfumes or aftershaves or smells.

5. The oldest ornament I have is a silver little girl engraved with my name from whn I was a young child. It is probably 30-35 years old.

6. Take some kindess, undersstanding, problem solving, love, and communication, mix it all together and you have PEACE.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to bed early as I'm tired after a day of successful shopping, tomorrow my plans include hair and lunch with 'n' and Sunday, I want to watch football, bake goodies and hang out with my family!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Paper Mache

So for the past two days we have been working on tiny paper mache ornaments with our three year old students at school. We were unsure of how this would go as we worked on a larger paper mache project with our morning class and it was a bit of a challenge. We opted for scaling down the project and seeing how the chlildren would manage. Well I am happy to say that all but two children chose to complete the activity. On the first day the children were unsure about the process. Many disliked the feeling of the flour and water. With help they were able to cover the small baloon with the strips of coffee filters coated in paste. Today children who had not completed their project were invited to come to the table and to my surprise several children decided to add an additionl layer to their ornament. They were much more intersted in experiencing the sensation of the paste on their hands. I dare say they actually enjoyed the process. I'd like to work on a larger project in this medium at some point in the future.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Yum! Yum!

I used to be very specific about what the gingerbread house should look like. Well I've let that go to allow for creative freedom and peace of mind!

The kids had a blast making their houses. I made the gingerbread from scratch and we used homemade royal icing to glue everything together.

I think the most favorite part of the project has been the eating. I was hoping to keep the houses around in order to decorate the kitchen but 'N' had a different idea.

Check out these fun photos!

'N's creation.

Doesn't it look great.

It tastes as good as it looks!

'n' got into the action too!

I love the marshmallows on the roof!

It's all about the eating!
Making happy memories. Isn't this what we are meant to be doing during this busy season?


We have had a lot of fun creating lately! We made gingerbread houses, pine cone ornaments and paper mache ornaments.

Check out these fun pictures.

Adding some glue.

I love how you can see the glitter falling in this picture.

Close up, see how it sparkles!

Wouldn't you love to have a sparkly pine cone like this on your holiday tree?


Saturday, December 6, 2008


What a day. It went by so quickly. I can't believe it is already 7:35!

We had a productive day. 'n' and I worked on paper mache ornaments. We will be making these in school next week and I wanted to make sure it was doable. I found out that the perfect balloon for the project is a water balloon. The ornaments will be a little bigger than an extra large egg. The size is small enough for the 3yr old children to complete with help. I have some photo's of the process but I will wait until I take photos of the next steps before I post.

After our art project we all worked together to clean up the house. What would have taken me at least two hours was accomplished in about 45 minutes with teamwork It was so nice not to have to do all the work myself. It took some coaxing but we did the job. 'n' even used our floor steamer to clean the kitchen floor!

I spent a good part of my afternoon at the hairdressers. I was in dire need of having my roots and color done. I even opted for a new updated hair cut. When I went into the salon my hair was a few inches past my shoulders after my time spent with 'D' my hair now just skims my shoulders after being straightened. It will appear even shorter when I style it curly. Now that I think about it that is pretty short!! It looks updated and I like it so it's OK that it isn't long anymore. If I can get to taking a photo I'll post one tomorrow.

Now R is preparing to go out to his gig. He is playing locally and I had thought I might go, but I just don't want to go and sit in a bar. Not to mention that he is doing this to make money and if I went it would entail paying a babysitter, paying for a couple of drinks and then getting said babysitter back home. If I'm going to have a babysitter come I'd rather just be able to go out and enjoy an evening with R. It is a second job for R so he isn't that upset that I'm not going.

Time to go visiting some of my favorite online friends.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mother's Guilt

Has anyone ever experienced 'Mother's Guilt'? I had a huge case of this ailment today. 'N' has been working on a project over the last few weeks in his 4th grade class. The project revolved around family treasures. All the children had to talk to their families and choose possessions that were treasures. All the items were going to be displayed in a 'Treasure Museum' that would be open to all the families. Unfortunately the Museum showing was planned for mid morning today. Being a work day I was unable to attend. Cue mothers guilt! 'N' didn't seem bothered that his family was not in attendance yet I still feel the guilt. He told me about all the Mom's who were there and with each word I felt worse. I have to let it go but like him I sometimes get stuck! Here's hoping that a goodnight sleep will solve the problem.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

7 days til Christmas!

Well it's not really 7 days until Christmas but there are only 7 days left for my three day class! I actually thought we had three full weeks but we have two weeks and two days! We have a lot to get done in a short amount of time, but 'S' and I are going to keep things simple. We are starting on our holiday card tomorrow. It will be a two day process, water color in winter colors and then a glitter circle print on top, all matted on vibrant winter colored construction paper and affixed to a 5 x 7 card-ready for framing. We used this same process last year and the cards were absolutely beautiful. We are also completing our paper mache instrument project. We'll be adding beads to the inside of our shaker and then closing them up with glue and tissue paper. They too are beautiful. We think we'll use a similar process in the afternoon only on a much smaller scale to make special ornaments to give as a holiday gift. Should be interesting. I'll try to take pictures of the process to post for everyone to see.

I want to thank Alicia for her kind words on my last post. Prayers and hugs are always a good thing. Thanks Alicia!


Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Mum

Today would have been my Mum's 77th birthday. It will be eight years on January 15th since her death. Some days it seems like a lifetime ago other day it seems like just yesterday. I miss her. Time has eased the physical pain I once felt when thinking of her death.

Her favorite bird was the cardinal. There have been times when cardinals have 'found' me. When we were in DC a few years ago this cardinal found us and actually buzzed me and then allowed me to take several very close photos. It followed us as we walked down the path in the zoo. It was uncanny. Whenever I see cardinals they remind me of my Mum. Sometimes I think she comes to me in that form.

A couple of years ago this cardinal was teaching his babies how to fly. It was so cool. There were 2 or 3 young cardinals and this father. He too allowed me to stay very near to him as I observed and took photos.

So tonight I say to my Mum what she would say to me every night and what I now say to my children.

Dream of the Angels

Good Night

God Bless


I Love You


Sunday, November 30, 2008

BTW.....I Did It!

Hey I forgot to mention that I did it! One post a day for the month of November! I am so excited and plan to continue my writing practice.

It's nice to do something for myself.


Food, Food Glorious Food part 2

Here is the last 50 items from yesterday's food meme.

51. Prickly pear

52. Umeboshi - no thanks

53. Abalone - I love the shell and perhaps would try the meat, maybe?

54. Paneer - I love cheese and this sounds interesting.

55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal - This used to be a favorite of mine on the rare occasion that I would visit McD's, now I tend to choose the double cheeseburger happy meal if I go with my kids for a special treat(they mostly like to go or the toy!)

56. Spaetzle -

57. Dirty gin martini - not a big fan of the old fashioned coctails, give me an appletini, pomegranit martini or a lemon drop and I'll say yes.

58. Beer above 8% ABV - I love beer but I don't think I've ever had an 8%ABV. I'll have to look into this, maybe something to try over the holidays.

59. Poutine -

60. Carob chips - Tried these when I went on Marilou Henner's diet. They were ok.

61. Smores - Yumm, smores in the back yard over our little fire, happy memories.

62. Sweetbreads - yuck!

63. Kaolin - This is a mineral. I didn't find any food references online so I'm guessing I have not knowingly eaten Kaolin.

64. Currywurst - Pork sausage with curry sauce...I might try it but I'm not sure I would find it pleasing.

65. Durian

66. Frogs legs

67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake - We used to get elephant ears at a local bakery when I was a kid. They were so yummy! Unfortunately they don't make them anymore.

68. Haggis -

69. Fried plantain -I would totally try fried plantain.

70. Chitterlings, or andouillett - ick.

71. Gazpacho - Something I'd love to make but just haven't.

72. Caviar and blini - One Christmas it was a huge thing that we were going to have caviar. Dad picked some up at the grocery store(quality was surely quite poor) and for whatever reason we wimped out and never tried the caviar.

73. Louche absinthe - .

74. Gjetost, or brunost - sounds unappealing

75. Roadkill - NOT

76. Baijiu - maybe in a mixed drink

77. Hostess Fruit Pie - not a big fan of the fruit pie unless it's from scratch

78. Snail - no thanks

79. Lapsang souchong - sounds very interesting I would try it

80. Bellini - I've had mimosas but never bellinis, I would certainly try one if it were offered.

81. Tom yum - sounds like something I should try.

82. Eggs Benedict - Yumm

83. Pocky - Sounds so good. Anything covered with chocolate has to be good!

84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant -

85. Kobe beef - Not a big red meat eater, but if it were offered I'd try some.

86. Hare - No,No, No

87. Goulash -

88. Flowers - at school in salad and on a beautiful birthday cake!

89. Horse - Why???

90. Criollo chocolate - Maybe. Not sure.

91. Spam - Yuck! all I can think of is cat or dog food when I think of spam sorry!

92. Soft shell crab - I'd love to try soft shell crab, someday!

93. Rose harissa -

94. Catfish -

95. Mole poblano -

96. Bagel and lox -

97. Lobster Thermidor - I prefer my lobster straight up with drawn butter please!

98. Polenta -tried to make this but it didn't come together .

99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee - Kona yes Jamaican not yet but I'd surely try a cup, thanks.

100. Snake - I don’t like them in my yard and would not want them in my tummy thanks.

After going through all these food items I've decided that I have led a very sheltered food life! I'll have to do something about that!


Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Meaning of Dreams

I am postponing the second half of the food meme to write about a dream that I had this past week.

I thought I would not share the dream but this morning I awoke with the feeling that I dreamt of my Mum again and I decided I should write down the dream I had earlier this week in which she had played an important role. So in my dream I went to our local new library. I think I was returning books, but I'm not sure. I went into the building and was surprised to see that it was empty and no one was there. I turned around and my Mum was standing there in front of me! I remember feeling surprised and happy to see her. She told me that they had closed down the library. She went on to say that she wanted to use her money to build a mother-in-law addition to my home. I said sure that sounds great and then off she went walking through the lawn next to the library and then over a hill. As I left the library I was buzzed by a hummingbird. It actually grazed my hair. Then my dream was over.

When I awoke it felt like she had visited me, what a nice feeling.

Any insight?


Friday, November 28, 2008

Food, Food Glorious Food!

So I found the following meme over at Thinking About and thought it would be a great idea for today's post.

Here are the rules:

Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
Optional extra: Post a comment here at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.
So now to the foodstuffs!

1. Venison - I would try it.

2. Nettle tea - sounds like a good herbal natural remedy.

3. Huevos rancheros - I've never made huevos rancheros but I'll have to as I think 'N' would love them.

4. Steak tartare - Yes. Ordered this accidentally many years ago at a German restaurant. Not my thing.

5. Crocodile - not something I'd try

6. Black pudding - NO. NO. NO.

7. Cheese fondue -

8. Carp -

9. Borscht - never had this but I'd try it

10. Baba ghanoush - Yummy, homemade is best!

11. Calamari - fried calamari with a light batter mmmm.

12. Pho - I like Asian food so I'd try it for sure.

13. PB&J sandwich - great lunch on the weekend

14. Aloo gobi -

15. Hot dog from a street cart - Hot dog on a grill but never from a street car

16. Epoisses - No thanks

17. Black truffle - I'd love to use it in a yummy recipe.

18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes - No, I like my red wine made from grapes.

19. Steamed pork buns - sounds yummy

20. Pistachio ice cream - yes but not one of my favorite flavors

21. Heirloom tomatoes - mmmmm.

22. Fresh wild berries - right of the vine from my side yard! Double mmmm

23. Foie gras - no thanks

24. Rice and beans -

25. Brawn or Head Cheese - not my thing

26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper - No, I like hot but not that hot!

27. Dulce de leche - sounds yummy

28. Oysters - Mmmm. Yes. Oysters on the half shell were one of my Mum's favorites for a while. When I was newly pregnant with my first child I remember indulging in this lovely treat at my Mums on Christmas eve. Yummy. Haven't had them in a long time.

29. Baklava - I’ve tried it. Just OK for me.

30. Bagna cauda- is a warm dip typical of
Piedmont, Italy. The dish, which is served and consumed in a manner similar to fondue, is made with garlic, anchovies, olive oil, butter, and in some parts of the region cream. Sounds like something to try!

31. Wasabi peas

32. Clam Chowder in Soudough Bowl - Yum

33. Salted Lassi -

34. Sauerkraut -

35. Root beer float - Orange float yes but never a Root Beer float

36. Cognac - not interested

37. Clotted Cream Tea - looked it up, sounds unappetizing

38. Vodka Jelly/Jell-O- I've helped to make these but never actually eaten them, go figure.

39. Gumbo - would love to make this for my family.

40. Oxtail

41. Curried goat - no thanks

42. Whole insects - only if I'm on Fear Factor

43. Phaal/span -

44. Goat’s milk

45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth $120 or more - no-bad memories from childhood

46. Fugu (aka pufferfish) - Not interested.

47. Chicken tikka masala - I'd try this if someone else ordered it

48. Eel

49. Kispy Kreme original glazed donut - it's like eating sugared air.

50. Sea urchin - I'm all set with that

I won’t tag anyone, but if you’re
interested, give it a try!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have had a lovely day. The morning was calm. I made the stuffing yesterday so I didn't have to rush around this morning . We watched the Macy's parade, one of my all time favorite things to do on Thanksgiving. I drank D&D coffee and ate bagels for breakfast. This was a special breakfast as it was a gift from 'n's teacher Mrs. K. Once the parade was 3/4 of the way done R and I got the turkey stuffed and in the NESCO. 'n' and I made feta artichoke dip and once that was in the oven we made apple pie. Later we watched 'N''s current favorite movie...Star Wars the Clone Wars. Throughout the movie I was up and down preparing various veggies for the Thanksgiving meal. I also made a pecan pie. We had a delicious meal and then 'N' and I brought a plate to Dad. He was thrilled. We had hoped he would come over for a while but he opted for the hand delivered plate instead. We spent some time at his house and then came home to finish cleaning the kitchen. Finally we ate pie and ice cream. The apple pie was perfect. Each piece came out of the pie plate like a dream. My usual experience is that the pieces fall apart but not today! The pecan pie was heavenly. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. What a wonderful day!

With all that is going on in our world I feel fortunate and am so thankful for all that I have in my life: my wonderful family who are happy and healthy, a diagnosis and promising treatment for my Dad's chronic medical condition, a rewarding job, satisfying community volunteer work with Stand for Children, good friends, and so much more.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nanny's Bread

Today the children had a half day of school. I had the day off so I put my time to good use. After dropping off the children at school I went grocery shopping for all of our Thanksgiving supplies. I had intended to make it a quick trip but I ran into a mom from 'n's Kindergarten class. She is a lovely woman and we spent at least 20 minutes catching up as we searched for artichokes. It seems we are both making hot artichoke dips tomorrow. Anyway as I was shopping I made sure to get the ingredients to make the homemade bread that was made each year in my childhood home by my mother.

We always called the bread 'Nanny's Bread' after my grandmother.As a child I would help my mother as she lovingly worked up the bread recipe. She used a pan that belonged to her mother to prepare the milk and butter and a large metal stock pot to mix and rise the bread. Now I use my mother's metal stock pot and bread tins to make 'Nanny's Bread' .
The process always makes me feel close to my Mum. Today memories rushed back to me as I worked up her recipe.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Vacation Days!

Well today was my Monday and Friday! Tuesday is my first day back to school each week, so it is my Monday and this week we only have one day of school so today is also my Friday. So I'm off for 6 days. R is also off for the next 5 days. It will be so nice to have a break. We are hoping to get a jump start on holiday shopping as we have done very little so far. I'm also hoping to be able to spend some time writing some reflection posts and working on some creative projects also in preparation for the holidays.

Speaking of creativity...one of the blogs I visit regularly is Sue Bleiweiss. Her work is beautiful. She has offered classes but now has started a website called Two Creative Studios check it out http://twocreativestudios.com/ She started this website with another talented artist, Teri Stegmiller. They are starting a give away promotion for folks who are interested in subscribing to their e-newsletter. If your interested in the newsletter you can sign up using this link http://twocreativestudios.com/newsletter.htm .


Monday, November 24, 2008


Well we're having some issues with 'N' in school. He is so smart and can do the work but he is not happy in school. Happy with his friends but that is about the only thing he is happy about. He is the kind of kid who has to connect to his teacher and this just has not happened yet. I'm not sure that it will happen. I know that things will not always be easy with school but I am really struggling as I watch my child struggle with his intense dislike for school this year. I could just cry! I'm communicating with his teacher. She knows how important it is for 'N' to feel connected and part of a community. She has reached out to his prior year teacher. I'm afraid it is too little too late. I just don't know. Any input from folks who have gone through this would be greatly appreciated.


Sunday, November 23, 2008


I just checked my email and imagine my surprise when I found an email from a long lost cousin. She actually hasn't been lost but we really only have contact around the holidays through Christmas cards. It's not that I don't want to have more of a relationship with her, it's just that our history is different.

Growing up my brother and I were much closer to the cousins on my mother's side of the family. I'm not entirely sure why except for the fact that I believe there was some sort of falling out in my Dad's family after his Mother died when I was about 8 or 9. I actually don't remember seeing my cousin 'D' at all as a child. I remember my mother telling me that she had spent time with 'D' as a little girl and her mother and her grandmother. Evidently they never developed a relationship.

It would be many, many years before I would see 'D'. The meeting would not be over a pleasant occasion. It turned out that her Mom was struck with Alzheimer's disease. For years we would exchange Christmas cards thinking that Aunt 'R' was sending them. It turned out that 'D' had been signing the cards for years. After my Aunt passed away we went to her wake up north of Boston. When we arrived I came face to face with 'D'. I was in my early 20's and she was most likely in her early 30's. Well I stood in front of her and it was like looking in a mirror. It was one of the most uncanny experiences I have had in my life. We could have been twins. I don't remember much more from that first meeting. Years later we would attend her wedding, she would re-connect with other cousins on Dad's side as well as my half sisters who were her age. We would continue to exchange cards but only would see each other at the infrequent wake, funeral or wedding. Family dynamics are so interesting. In another post I'll share more about the dynamics on my Mums side of the family. It was a much different experience.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thoughts of Sugar Plums

I can hardly believe that we are about to celebrate Thanksgiving and then soon after Christmas. It feels like we just started school.

Today I've been thinking about gift giving, particularly gifts for teachers. I enjoy creating something special that shows my appreciation to not only my children's teachers but also to those teacher with whom I work. I prefer giving something hand made. This year the children have different ideas about what they would like to give their teachers. 'n' is on board for the handmade ornaments and hot cocoa and treats that we enjoy giving yet 'N' is not. 'N' prefers not to give of himself so to speak unless he feels very close to his teacher. So we've come to a compromise. 'n' will go the handmade route and 'N' will choose an appropriate gift card that is less personal but still a gift.

I'm hoping to find a new hand made ornament to create with 'n'. If you have any good ideas please drop me a line!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Fill Ins

1. The last band I saw live was Three and Out.

2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is watching the Macy's parade and making stuffing, nothing smells better than onions and celery sauteing in butter! (if you don't celebrate thanksgiving, insert your favorite holiday)

3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is barely begun.

4. Thoughts of shopping fill my head.

5. I wish I could wear a smaller size!

6. Bagpipes illicit visions of funeral processions.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Star Wars/Clone Wars with 'N', tomorrow my plans include cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning and Sunday, I want to relax!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Conferences are Over!

Last night was the first night that I actually slept through the night in at least a week. I think that my mind has been working overtime as I've been preparing for meeting with the my students families over these past two weeks. Daily I have been waking up at my regular 5:30 time in the midst of strange dreams. I'm hoping with the completion of all of our meetings that my brain will quiet down and allow some peace. In the past this kind of stress has left me exhausted and often run down. I'm hoping that I will avoid any illness and plan on having a restful weekend.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One Word Meme

I found this over at Julie's

1. Where is your cell phone? Pocket book
2. Where is your significant other? Couch
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? Gone
5. Your father? Retired
6. Your favorite thing? children
7. Your dream last night? startling
8. Your dream/goal? Security
9. The room you’re in? TV-room
10. Your hobby? Art
11. Your fear? Change
12. Where do you want to be in six years? Home
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. What you’re not? Wealthy
15. One of your wish list items? Kitchen floor
16. Where you grew up? Here
17. The last thing you did? type
18. What are you wearing? school clothes
19. Your T.V.? Huh? What’s on TV? Mentalist
20. Your pet? Baby (Not literally, but that’s what we call her)
21. Your computer? Helpful
22. Your mood? Quiet
23. Missing someone? No
24. Your car? Reliable
25. Something you’re not wearing? Earings
26. Favorite store? ColdwaterCreek
27. Your Summer? Short
28. Love someone? Absolutely
29. Your favorite color? Blue
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Monday

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Family Geneology

We are working on a couple of projects this week. 'N' is creating three entries into a 'Treasure' museum. He has to choose items that are very special to him treasures. He has to make a museum info card and be prepared to bring the items in on a designated day. The project is actually to build prior knowledge in the are of personal treasures as the children will have to write a 5 paragraph essay on a personal treasure at some point this year. It is challenging because children tend not to get so emotionally attached to objects. The other project we are working on is a family genealogy/ancestry project that includes drawing a map showing all borders and sharing about ancestors country of origin. We are working on Ireland. 'n' learned how to count to 10 in Gaelic, has drawn and painted the flag and labeled a map. It is interesting but this is almost as much work for me as it is for them. On top of all of these projects we are in the middle of writing conferences and meeting with parents. So I'm tired. Hope you all are having a good week.

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